23. March 2016 · Comments Off on SQOD · Categories: SQOD

I’ve not done a student quote of the day in a LONG time. When my student gave me the answer he gave today, though, I laughed and said, “Oh you get to be my Student Quote of the Day!”

I only post these when a student makes me laugh or says something profound (yes, both happen). This student is a true joy to teach, and his very quick response to my question was fun.

Me: What does leggiero mean?
Timothy: It means to play with legs!

He also noted that he had both of his legs.

So thanks, Timothy, for making me laugh today. Thank you even more for being such a fine student … not only are you witty but you are a very good musician!

23. March 2016 · 4 comments · Categories: Ramble

My internal, frequently negative, voice is one that rarely goes away but I’ve learned how to ignore and sometimes even silence it. I’ve also learned to accept that it’s there sometimes and I live with it.

But the external ones … well … WHAT to do about those?

A good time ago now, I made a huge blunder (and wrote about it on this blog, in fact) in a concert. I mean HUGE blunder. It was so humiliating and embarrassing and weep-worthy. That was difficult. About a month later a colleague told me that her section was dissed in the review of that concert and one of the players said, “I think the reviewer meant the English horn”. She thought I could handle the joke at that point. I smiled. I pretended I could handle it. But I didn’t handle it well at all and it brought back all the pain of that concert. Every time I look at that section of the orchestra now I wonder which one said that about me.

Then, this past Saturday night, I ran into a colleague prior to the concert. He looked at me a bit askance and said something like “Were you happy with your solo last night?” (Friday was our first concert.) He then asked, “Were you nervous?” He went on for a while about this, actually. “I mean … you sounded good…”, he said rather hesitantly.

Well, that wasn’t what I needed to hear prior to playing the same solo again. I puzzled over what he meant. Was it not good enough for him? Did I sound nervous? Did I look unhappy?

These are not things we want to think about and dwell on when we have solos. WHY he said those things to me is a mystery. I don’t know him as well as maybe he thinks I do. Was he serious? Was he joking? I honestly don’t have a clue! I just know it set up major “doubt voices” in my head.

The solo went fine, but I have to admit the entire time I was thinking, “Is THIS good enough for you, [insert name here]? Do I sound nervous?”

That is no way to enjoy a solo. But so it goes. I may be used to be internal voices but these external ones? Doubtful I’ll ever get used to those!

Side note: speaking of those external voices. The very same evening of my HORRIBLE NO GOOD SOLO some years back a colleague came up before to tell me I was his favorite English horn player and proceeded to go on and on. Then I made the blunder. Since then he’s not only never complimented me, but has never looked me in the eye again. I always wonder if he just felt bad saying all that on my off night or if he’s not gotten over my bad playing. Funny how that goes ….